Last week I attended something called "white coat ceremony." This is where 150 grown people are dressed by other grown people on a stage in front of a crowd of grown people.
The whole thing felt a little like a premature celebration of achievement. But it's apparently a big deal for medical students. Just before they start classes, they have this introductory event where they are bequeathed white coats that are perfectly tailored and stylish on the women but kind of look like boxy Walmart Halloween costumes on most of the men.
Skylar invited his parents, who flew to Salt Lake City, to attend the event. My parents went as well.
It was TWO HOURS long. It was kind of like a graduation. There was this whole procession thing where all of the new students walked in as the most dramatic music I have ever heard in my entire life played. Several school administrators and faculty stood on the stage and one-by-one took the podium to give speeches about how special and amazing all of these new students were.
If you've ever wondered why so many doctors have huge egos, you should go attend one white coat ceremony.
Then each person was called up, one at a time, so someone could help them put on a white coat. This took a full eternity.
Once everyone was cloaked in the robes of their new cult, they all stood and swore their allegiance to Satan and this freaked me out so much that I swear to you I instinctively started scanning all of the exits to see if they were being blocked.
Bob was at least as irreverent as Skylar and I were (Skylar texted me sarcastic commentary of every minute of the show in real time). Bob told me halfway through the third speech that he was really hoping someone would have a heart attack so he could yell "are there any doctors in the house?!" Then he laughed to himself quietly over this one joke for the next hour, which is how I know we are definitely related.
I guess the ceremony exists at least for my mother and Skylar's mother, who were verging on tears for the entirety of the thing. Cathie told me several times throughout the day in her most Cathie way that "it's already a huge accomplishment that he even got here, and no matter how this whole thing turns out he should be PROUD!"
Maybe I'm burned out with academic pomp and circumstance. Or maybe I'm just exhausted at the thought that I attended my first day of law school TEN YEARS ago, and now here I am, sort of, in a way, starting something similar all over again.
Look. I know. I'm not the one going to med school. And I used to roll my eyes at all of those spouses of students who would say "we are in law school" or "we got accepted into such and such school" when their wife or husband was in my class.
But now that I'm being quite inconvenienced by the whole affair, I just have to say: we totally got accepted into medical school and we are totally starting it right now and I will totally give everyone free physicals and minor surgeries when we finish it.
After the ceremony I told Skylar that I thought it was boring and I was tired and he better never make me go to something like that again.
Well, and that maybe I drank some of the Kool-Aid. Because I guessed that I was pretty proud of him, too.
~It Just Gets Stranger